Harold Ross would never have let this one get by . . .

David Remnick, writing in The New Yorker about the Democratic convention:

Michelle Obama tore up the wing-nut caricatures of herself as a closet radical by revealing, without exploiting, the irresistible charms of her children and delivering a warm, genuine, and impassioned introduction to her husband.

Huh? Where do I start on this?
– Can’t a “closet radical” have irresistibly charming children?
– Can’t a “closet radical” deliver a good speech?
And, the biggest thing of all: if you’re really a “closet” radical, then of course you’ll try to act like a normal person when you’re on national TV.

I mean, sure, you can say she gave a good speech or that you agree with what she had to say or even that she seems likable (although that seems to be stretching it; after all, it’s just a prepared speech). But a public speech has gotta be the last place to look if you’re trying to evaluate whether someone has a hidden agenda!

P.S. Just to be clear: I’m not saying anything at all about Michelle Obama here. I’m just stunned at the gap in logical reasoning here. Isn’t The New Yorker famous for its fact-checkers???

6 thoughts on “Harold Ross would never have let this one get by . . .

  1. No, there's some stereotype-related information in here. We, and I use the word loosely here, don't associate people who are radicals in their private lives with people who have irresistibly charming children, really we don't. We expect the children to be Junior Che or something, but not well-socialized kids with high social skills, i.e., not normal++. We also expect radicals to be issue focused, not warm and impassioned about their personal relationships. People who care about people don't throw bombs at people, even from closets (arguable, I admit.) She just didn't fit the stereotype, be the stereotype nonsensical or otherwise, and, by humanizing herself and her family, she revealed the caricatures as just that.

  2. By this reasoning, should we now suspect you of also being a closet radial? Since your post seems so normal in every way, you obviously have something to hide! ;-) In what other way should she address public wing-nut caricatures of herself?
    Perhaps fact-checking is the wrong term, as Mr. Remnick seems to be expressing an opinion.

  3. Eastwood,

    I would say that my blog does not give much evidence about any closet radicalism, one way or another. My point is that the accusation of "closet radical" is almost impossible to refute.

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